|That's gotta be worth, like, thirty tattoos.|
Living in Columbus, I'm inundated on a daily basis with news regarding the massive violations committed by Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor, and the Ohio State football program. If you've been under a rock for the past six months, just know that pretty much everyone in charge of the whole program was culpable at some level for a lot of violations of the rules, and Tressel, Pryor, and a few others took a beating. The NCAA hasn't handed down their sentence yet, but it's probably not going to be pretty.
Callers to the radio shows continue to debate if it was worth it or not. The argument goes that, despite the upcoming sanctions lingering over the program, that no amount of future punishment removes those moments from the fans' collective memories. Players play to win, fans watch to see the team win, and a retroactive forfeit of a game does not change the fact that you got enjoy, say, a Rose Bowl win while it was happening.
Closer to home (in Xavier terms; it's actually farther from my real home), Xavier has been the beneficiary of some strange recruiting practice as well. Both Tu Holloway and Jordan Crawford ended up at Xavier thanks to the departure of Kelvin Sampson from Indiana University. It should be noted that Sampson must be one of the most monumentally stupid human beings on earth; after being slapped with sanctions for minor violations at Oklahoma, he turned around and violated the terms of his probation by performing major violations at Indiana. That's a simplified version of the story, but it's hard to feel bad for the guy, especially after IU paid him $750,000 to go away.
|Also, UD sucks.|
Crawford and Holloway, meanwhile have provided some of the best moments in the past couple of years for X. Crawford's lone season was marked by huge threes and acrobatic finishes in the lane, capped by a magical run in the NCAA tournament that introduced the nation to what Xavier fans already knew via the vocal stylings of Gus Johnson. Tu, to his credit, has never shied from the big moment - even when Crawford was the primary perimeter scoring option. He carried the team through two extra periods against UC as a sophomore, and rattled off five points to set up Crawford's bomb against K-State. Last year, the team rode him for every big moment from November to March.
Some of those moments have become part of the fabric of the Xavier experience. If you found out tomorrow that Tu and/or Crawford had been illegally recruited, would that taint the feeling you get from reliving those games? What if the punishment was just a slap on the wrist? If Coach Mack were to have his conference calls limited for six months, would that make you feel any worse about being a Xavier fan? Everyone wants to believe he cheers for a clean program, right?
I guess it comes down to this: how dirty does a program have to be before the moment just isn't worth it anymore?